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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Reasonably Happy

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY


  4. Phone in hand, PETER is checking the answer requests on his Quora app.


  5. PETER (V.O.): If you could have a safari animal as a pet, which would you choose?


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is a hypothetical - an imagined proposition that won't come true.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Have I ever daydreamed to have an East African animal as a pet?


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): No, my mind has never wandered that far. If I've to dream, I'd try to dream closer and make it relevant.


  12. Recalling.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I did have fantasy of keeping a Chinese animal as a pet.


  14. Act 2


  15. INT. SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS


  16. FLASHBACK


  17. INT. HOME - DAY (2001)


  18. Peter (47) and his YOUNGER SON (3) are watching TV.


  19. YOUNGER SON (Seriously): Dad, can I keep a giant panda as a pet?


  20. PETER (V.O.): I've never said no to my good boy. How could I respond to his request?


  21. His younger son sees Peter's body language.


  22. YOUNGER SON (Cont'd): Dad, just a very small one will do.


  23. END FLASHBACK


  24. Recalling.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'): I'm his father and it's my role to provide for a solution.


  26. Pausing.


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I didn't say yes as I knew I couldn't deliver. I didn't say no either...


  28. Pausing.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I was trying to evade my responsibility, hoping my son would appreciate the situations when he got older.


  30. Recalling.


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Years later, he got two small Brazilian tortoises as his pets.


  32. Pausing.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The tortoises have grown up now, and so is our son.


  34. Refocusing on his phone screen.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But if I could have a pet, I'd like to have a small giant panda.


  36. Peter types his answer on the phone screen.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now he has returned and is in self-isolation in our other unit. My wife and I are happy to provide anything he wants.


  38. TV news have distracted Peter's attention.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, a powerful typhoon is approaching Northern Kyushu. Our elder daughter lives there.


  40. Peter looks at the sunshine through the window.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're miles apart. She used to be the nearest to us, when compared with her brother in Australia and her sister in UK.


  42. Pausing.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I checked out her unit last November, I found that her living environment is quite OK.


  44. Keeping his fingers crossed.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I hope she'll be alright.


  46. Peter takes a deep breath.


  47. Act 3


  48. INT. SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS


  49. FLASHBACK


  50. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT (2000)


  51. Peter's FAMILY are tending different household chores. Looking out of the window, the ELDER DAUGHTER (4) has discovered something.


  52. ELDER DAUGHTER: Oh, the moon has broken!


  53. Following their elder daughter's pointing direction, Peter and his wife see a new moon.


  54. PETER: Oh yes, the full moon is off duty. That's the new moon. Isn't it cute?


  55. RETURN TO PRESENT


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's some 20 years ago.


  57. Pausing.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our flights to visit her during the mid-Autumn Festival have also been cancelled. We didn't know COVID-19 is so unstoppable.


  59. Reflecting.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There're two ingredients of happiness. One is s personal responsibility and the other is decisive optimism.


  61. Pausing.


  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, we're reasonably happy.


  63. FADE OUT.


  64. THE END


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